photo courtesy of: http://blog.debutantemedia.com/social-media-safety-tips-for-parents/
22 years ago, the doctor looked me in the eye and said, “Are we happy about this?”
I could feel the heat rise to my cheeks, “Oh yes!” I answered, “It’s just a lot to take in. I mean it’s just that having a baby…it means everything will change.”
It was the understatement of the year.
This week marks my oldest daughter’s 21st birthday. And that means I am celebrating my 21st year of motherhood.
21 years of having my heart extended beyond my own body.
21 years of love, laughter, guilt, worry, and utter amazement.
In honor of this monumental occasion, today I’m posting 21 things I have learned along the way of motherhood. As they say, experience is the best teacher.
1-People say the darnedest (read: rudest) things to pregnant women. I once had a person rub my belly and tell me I was so tiny, only to hear minutes later from a different person that I was huge. Who ever wants to be told they are huge?
2-Having a child is an instant icebreaker. Go anywhere with a baby and people just start talking to you or your child. It’s kind of nice.
3-There is nothing that compares to the love a mother has for a child. Nothing. Period.
4-Motherhood requires endurance. You’ll be amazed at what you can withstand when you have to, caffeine helps.
5-Happy toddlers like messes. They like to dump and destroy; it’s best to give in to it and not worry so much about the house. Up until the time they leave for college.
6-As your child gets older, you discover you cannot always fix the pain and hurt, no matter how hard you try. Sometimes you just need to leave it be, allowing your child to learn that this too shall pass. It’s a lesson we all need to learn.
7-No amount of excrement, vomit or mucus hurtled upon you can keep you from loving your tiny bundle. I don’t how this is, it just is.
8-Watching your baby grow is like witnessing a miracle in action. All those tiny little parts developing and growing. Wow, it’s just incredible, isn’t it?
9-Motherhood helps you comprehend violent crime. Watch the news and you almost feel as if you truly could commit murder against anyone who hurts an innocent child.
10-Every mother has bad days. Hard days. Days that will later become war stories. Go ahead and share them, proudly, you’ve earned the right. Share about the good days too.
11-The days are long but the years are short. I always hated when people told me this but it is true. Try to live in the present and enjoy what is front of you. It will soon be gone.
12-Sometimes you just need to settle for clean, happy and fed. Or even just fed.
13-Teen rebellion, be it slight or strong, is a part of growing up and becoming independent. These years are much like the terrible twos; not always fun.
14-The rebellion does end though, and then you are left with a pretty cool, smart, funny more reasonable teenager. Good job.
15-Character matters so much more than being a good student, a star soccer player or popular at school. Instill good values and the rest will take care of itself.
16-Kids are expensive in terms of time and money. The more you put into your investment, the better the return. And really, I’m talking time here; parents have very little money anyway.
17-It’s better not to put your kids first all the time. Take care of your and your spouse’s needs first. It’s the same concept as with the oxygen masks on the plane…
18-My kids won’t tell me everything, and that’s okay. I probably don’t need to know everything about what’s going on in their world. My parents didn’t know the half of it!
19-The world will not fall apart if you forget about the fall fundraiser, miss turning in that permission slip, or space a dental appointment.
God is good like that; if you are at least trying, usually things work out.
20-Everyone feels like a terrible mother at least once, if not 20 billion times throughout her life. It doesn’t mean you are; forgive yourself.
21-Parenting is much harder than you could ever imagine. It’s also so much more rewarding. And- you never, ever, feel like you know what you’re doing, or maybe that’s just me…